photoShown in the photo with me is my friend David Raymond, who wrote the foreword to You Stink! Major League Baseball’s Terrible Teams and Pathetic Players. Unless you’re either a long-time, die-hard Phillies fan, or a die-hard fan of the University of Delaware’s football program, the likelihood is that you don’t know who Dave is. Click on the photo to see a larger image.

imagesThe other photo is Dave’s alter ego, the Phillie Phanatic. Dave was the original Phillie Phanatic. He wore the green suit from the time that the character was introduced in 1978 through the 1993 World Series season, and then he passed the suit on to the current Phanatic’s Phriend, Tom Burgoyne. Dave then founded Raymond

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General-Buford-002The photo at the left is of Brig. Gen. John Buford, whom I freely acknowledge is my single favorite figure of the Civil War. I’ve long harbored a fascination with Old Steadfast, as his men called him, and have had four articles on his role in the Gettysburg Campaign published in Gettysburg Magazine. Three of my books also touch on Buford’s career heavily. But I’ve never done a monograph on Buford at Gettysburg, which is the topic that got me started on him in the first place.

About three weeks ago, I realized that I have published something book-length on every major cavalry action that took place north of the Mason-Dixon Line during the Gettysburg Campaign but one: John …

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Clark B. “Bud” Hall, who is the individual most responsible for the saving of the Brandy Station battlefield, has a good column on the preservation of the battlefield that appears in the current issue of Civil War News, which I commend to anyone interested in the history of the preservation effort there.

Brandy Station
By Clark B. Hall
(May 2013 Civil War News – Preservation Column)

Col. John S. Mosby certainly knew more than most about fighting on horseback and his conclusion that the Battle of Brandy Station, June 9, 1863, was “the fiercest mounted combat of the war — in fact, of any war,” must today receive weighty consideration.

A staff officer to Jeb Stuart concurred when adding,

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22 Apr 2013, by

A rare treat

photoI had quite a rare treat today. Sharon McCardle, who is an officer of the Rockton, IL Historical Society, stopped by my office to visit. Sharon and her husband Karl had been in Gettysburg at the conference of the Company of Military Historians, where she set up a prize-winning exhibit on Brig. Gen. Elon J. Farnsworth. Farnsworth’s charge and death are the cornerstone of my book Gettysburg’s Forgotten Cavalry Actions: Farnsworth’s Charge, South Cavalry Field and the Battle of Fairfield, so he’s long been of great interest to me.

Sharon brought a number of very cool items for me to see, but none cooler than Farnsworth’s saber–the one he was carrying when he was killed. I’m holding it and …

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Regular reader Lee Hutch has started a new blog that looks like an eclectic mix of Western Theater Civil War history. Check it out here.

I have also added a link to it.

Welcome to the blogosphere, Lee.

Scridb filter

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I’m pleased to invite all of you to attend the Sesquicentennial commemoration of the Battle of Brandy Station, to be held on Saturday, June 8, 2013.

In conjunction with the Loudoun County Civil War Roundtable, the 150th anniversary of North America’s largest cavalry battle will be commemorated. The precise details are still being worked out, so I can’t provide you with an exact schedule yet. However, we will be conducting an all-day walking tour of the battlefield that day. And the best part: it’s FREE!!!

However, we want to recommend that, in lieu of paying for the tour, everyone who participates makes a donation to the Civil War Trust’s campaign to save Fleetwood Hill. The amount can be …

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hh9d5Yesterday, I was one of the presenters at the “Gettysburg Before and After” conference put on by Hagerstown Community College. Dennis Frye, the chief historian at the Harpers Ferry National Historical Park, gave a very interesting talk on the role that Harpers Ferry played in the Gettysburg Campaign.

Part of what he discussed caught my attention, as it lends some fascinating new insight into the decisions made by the Army of the Potomac’s high command on July 12, 1863. These insights have caused me to re-evaluate some of those decisions. The facts are worthy of presenting here.

By way of background, the Army of the Potomac’s high command considered throwing a pontoon bridge across the Potomac River …

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This is the 1,300th post on this blog since it began in September 2005. Had anyone suggested that it would still be around and still going strong, I would not have believed it.

1,300 posts is a LOT of posts.

I appreciate all of you. I treasure my interactions with all of you here, which is, in large part, why this blog is still around and still going strong. Thank you for your support in the past, and thank you for your support going forward. And with your continued support, it will continue to go forward….

Thank you to all of you who indulge my rantings. It means more to me than I can say.

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imagesHere is another in my infrequent series of profiles of forgotten Civil War cavalrymen. Today’s profile is of a particular favorite of mine.

Nineteenth Century American cavalrymen were the fighter pilots of their era—devil-may-care, flashy, equally eager to impress the women and eager to seek glory for dashing deeds of courage. When modern students of the Civil War think of cavalrymen, they conjure up images of Jeb Stuart, with his ostentatious ostrich plumes, or of George Custer and his flowing blonde hair and outrageous uniforms. Certainly, the cavalry produced more than its fair share of cads like Earl Van Dorn and Judson Kilpatrick.

However, it also produced some extraordinary soldiers—quiet, modest, competent men who went about their business in an …

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battle-of-kellys-fordToday marks the Sesquicentennial of the Battle of Kelly’s Ford, fought March 17, 1863, along the banks of the Rappahannock River in Culpeper County, Virginia. Please click on the image to see a larger version of this contemporary depiction of the fighting at Kelly’s Ford that St. Patrick’s Day.

That day, Brig. Gen. William Woods Averell’s Second Cavalry Division of the Cavalry Corps of the Army of the Potomac forced its way across the Rappahannock at Kelly’s Ford and brought the Confederate cavalry brigade of Brig. Gen. Fitzhugh Lee to battle. The fight lasted for most of the day. First, Averell’s men had to force a crossing of the river, pushing through Confederate rifle pits. They then had to force …

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